Ethan's Age

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who Is Julia?

I thought I'd make a post talking a bit about who I am, what I do, etc, so my readers can get to know me a bit better.

My name is Julia, and I live in Portland Oregon. I'm married to my wonderful husband Jon, whom I met in 2007 when I was a supervisor at a local Non-Profit for youth. We dated, and quickly got engaged in late 2007. We married in August of 2008. I currently work for a international non-profit where I manage youth programs for school aged children and one pre-k program. I love my job very much. I also am starting to volunteer again at a local children's hospital working with kids with cancer. My job there is to play games with them, get them what they need and keep them company. I've moved from a critical short term care unit to a cancer/transplant unit. I hope to continue to build great relationships with those kids. I find it very rewarding.

My husband is a 3rd year law student. He's excited and nervous about graduating and taking the bar. He excels at details and is quite a perfectionist. He and I are going to be proud parents of a puppy tomorrow (a golden lab) named Freuhauser. (www.freuhauser.blogspot.com)

Jon and I started actively trying to start our human family in March of 2009. It's been around 9 months of trying for us, and the past 3 cycles were on Clomid. We recently moved to a 2 bedroom, so we can have more room for a child and to just have more room in general.

I'm rather quirky. Milk can't be over a couple of days old, regardless of the expiration date, for me to have to throw it out. I'm addicted to sleeping.

I'm a deeply spiritual person, who used to be embedded in organized religion via the christian church. When I was there, I saw a lot of things, a lot of spiritual things. I've seen what I believe are angels, and what I believe to be demons. I have deeply spiritual dreams. I've seen several times of deliverance (the watered down word for exorcisms), and actually been a part of one and been overpowered by the power of the supernatural. I see things still, I feel what people feel... in a sort of empathic manner. I miss being a part of a group of people in a spiritual context, but am diametrically opposed to what the 'Church' stands for at this time. I'm on an active search for a place to call my spiritual home, but not willing to subject myself to the judgment and harsh people within the 'Church' as we know it.

I've started to write a book about my experience into the supernatural. I've come to a place in my life where I am a bit more separated from the events that surrounded my time within the "christian church' and I feel as though I have much more clarity and sense of purpose in regards to sharing my encounters. I feel as though there are many youth out there within the church or outside that have no guide, no one to validate the experiences that they have supernaturally.

I continue to hope and pray for a new member to my family, and I know that we both will be great parents. I'm thankful for you, and my close group of intimate friendships that I have, as they keep me looking forward, and not back. Thank you for walking with me. I know many of you are on a similar journey, and I continue to wish the best for you along the way. Thank you to my friends who aren't even experiencing the challenges that this blog surround, but surround me with love by reading these ramblings anyway.

This entry is dedicated to a long time friend who could have authored some of these entries, but now has graduated to future mommy-hood. I love you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh the things you do, when you are TTC

I'e been amused lately by this blog: 999 Reasons to laugh at Infertility

I'm not sure where this blog has been for the past long months, but I'm often found reading this, and laughing, or crying, or crying from laughing. What an amazing concept, creative humor out of this crazy experience!

Today, I giggled, as I realized another reason to laugh. I found myself timing when I would pee, as I needed to wait until the afternoon to get an accurate OPK for the day... Waiting for 4 hours, making a purposeful remembrance of when I last went...

Oh, timing, you are a fickle thing sometimes... or all the time, now.

When to have sex, when to pee, when to test. I'm so hyperaware of my body, I am becoming somewhat of a hypochondriac. Am I cramping, is that cramping? No, maybe it's the food I ate... But, wait, isn't it that time?

It ends up being that I had some McDonalds for breakfast.

In other news, my doctor needs to go back to medical school. She told my husband today that I could be on Clomid indefinitely without any large side effects. There are large side effects, like uterine lining depletion, (omitting the possibility of ever sustaining a pregnancy) Uterine Cancer, and other pleasant side effects. See their website.
She also mentioned that the window for fertilizing an egg was 3-4 days past when your temp rises due to ovulation. An egg remains fertile for no more than 24 hours.

Sigh. I haven't decided if this is a deal breaker. I'm concerned that she is supposed to deal with fertility, and does not know these basics.

And in conclusion, Jon's second SA was much better. He was able to, errr, test at home this time which was easier. He still has low motility, (55%) but has high count. This, according to the Doctor (who, we have established, has questionable information recall) averages out a bit. She did, however, suggest the proper next step for us in the idea of IUI.

Sperm Washing is probably the best bet for us. I also am not going to take my Clomid dose on the cycle I don't ovulate anyway... Next cycle is ovulatory, by past experiences, and we are wondering if I will this cycle. I'm religiously OPK-ing and charting, so if I do, I'll know.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Letting you into my world

Readers;
Thank you for witnessing this window into my soul. I want to make sure people understand where I'm at. This blog is my therapy. I'm able to dump my feelings, name them, and stand witness to them.

Over the past few days, the outpouring of support you've all given me, via Facebook Messages and Comments and Emails has been overwhelming (in a good way!) I want to explain that I *in general* am doing really well. After I am able to put my feelings here, as hard as they are to state, I'm able to read it over and understand myself more fully.

Does this mean that I am positive all the time? No. Jon will tell you that I am a wreck sometimes, and great other times. One of my coping mechanisms has been to acknowledge the fact, and embrace it that I may not have children naturally. In this way, though a pessimistic view, I am much more equipped to deal with the devastation of the end of the month crashing in.

Not only is this blog for me... it's for you. I'm starting to see more and more blogs out there facing that fact that baby making isn't always as easy as our bodies feel that it should be. To take a moment to think about the amount of women/couples that go through infertility or difficulty trying to conceive. Facts are around 17%. That's a lot of couples... but it's something that people don't talk about.

I think something that took me off guard was how personally responsible and guilty I would feel about not being able to just *wham, bam, thank you ma'am* and punch out a perfect egg, fertilize it (or Jon would, I guess) and grow a human being. Seems simple enough right?

Oooh, you are having troubles? Well, just relax, you are young! We need to be able to talk about this. Or the classic nosy work woman asking me if *I was the one who needed a 'special' doctor to help me get pregnant.*

So, what is a reasonable way to deal with this, other than blog? Get a puppy!
No really. We are getting a puppy. :)

Meanwhile, I'm sitting on CD 21. Ovulation, if it's going to happen this month will occur in a couple of days. We are still waiting for Jon's secondary SA. I'm hoping that it's higher motility this time. If we are expecting, we will find out around Christmas. This will be a great present to us, and a huge burden off my shoulders.

We still have hope, though I say I don't. I have to say that I don't in order to protect my fragile feelings. Oh, and Clomid is throwing me for a loop lately with mood swings a HUGE hot flashes. I'm on day 4 of very little sleep because of the hot flashes at night. Ouch.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

because it states the meaning of my blog so perfectly...and it balances how funny this can be.

You're 27? Don't you think that maybe
It's time you settled down and had a baby?
No wine? Does this mean happy news? I knew it!
Hey, are you sure you two know how to do it?
All Dennis has to do is look at me
And I'm knocked up.
Some things aren't meant to be. It's sad, but try to see this as God's will.
I've heard that sometimes when you take the Pill--
A friend of mine got pregnant when she stopped
Working so hard. Why don't you two adopt?
You'll have one of your own then, like my niece.
At work I heard about this herb from Greece--
My sister swears by dong quai. Want to try it?
Forget the high-tech stuff. Just change your diet.
It's true! Too much caffeine can make you sterile.
Yoga is good for that. My cousin Carol--
They have these ceremonies in Peru--
You mind my asking, is it him or you?
Have you tried acupuncture? Meditation?
It's in your head. Relax! Take a vacation
And have some fun. You think too much. Stop trying.
Did I say something wrong? Why are you crying?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

And in other news...

More and more girls I'm friends with are starting to post about their 1st, or even 2nd children. It's hard to read about. I want to be happy for these people, most of them I'm convinced would be or are great parents.

Sadly, there is nothing new on my front. My latest post about how I feel is still how I feel. I'm wondering if this is the path I was meant to go on... not having a family of my own.

I'm starting to seriously look into adoption. There are some younger children (usually around 1 year-3 years old) that are foster children. I'm slowly warming Jon up to the idea, even though he was the one who mentioned adopting first.

I'm going to start talking to the DHS personnel and start to prep the idea of adopting through the foster care system to Jon.

We are finally moving, which means that we would have space for a little one. Really, right around now is when we were planning to have a newborn of our own... now that it's been 9 months of trying, I'm ready to think about other options.

Friday, November 27, 2009

2500 Hits

I'm amazed.

In the few months that I have put up a counter, I've received 2500 Hits on this website.

Part of me wishes that people didn't really relate with what I'm talking about. Infertility is a horrible experience to go through. (Or difficulty trying to conceive, depending on where you are in the process.)

I hope that those of you who have stopped by have learned something, been comforted, been amused, or left feeling like you aren't alone.

Please do take the time to "follow me." I figure that if you are stopping by my blog, you might also have one I might like to read! I do really feel great when people comment or follow me!

So. Thank you for popping by my modest blog.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A not-so-brief appearance

I typically don't post on this blog. It started out (if I remember correctly) with the purpose of the two of us documenting our experiences through conception, pregnancy, birth, and possibly even the early years with a new kid. If you go far enough back, there are even a few spare posts of mine from the beginning (unless they were mercifully deleted by Julia). However, as our situation changed, and we stopped taking easy conception as a given, and eventually surrendered the idea altogether, it became Julia's outlet to document our efforts (and hurdles) towards conception. I am also impatient to conceive, and wish it had already happened as well, but it affects Julia much more than it affects me. The way we deal with things like this is different as well. I tend to talk more and process things verbally. Julia is more thoughtful and reflective, works things out internally, then processes and shares. The blog works with Julia's process a whole lot better than I could, and thus the blog became her domaine. I also tend to be more guarded in general, whereas Julia tends to be more open. It made sense.

I'm making a brief appearance here (then ceding control of the blog back over to Julia) to voice my feelings on where we're at. It's a tough spot. We've been trying to conceive for 8 months, but for a variety of reasons (which have been well documented in the blog by Jules), we haven't had a shot until last month. It's the worst of both worlds. We've gone through the emotional strain of wanting something so much, and trying to get it for 8 months, with no success. Couple that with the fact that we never had a chance to conceive during the first 7 months, although we didn't know it at the time, and thus every failure over the first 7 months was just as devastating because we though we actually had a shot. In hindsight, we discovered that our timing was off - during the first 7 months we stopped trying to conceive before Julia ovulated, meaning there was no possibility of conception. Last month we finally got things figured out, and it was the first time we were able to coordinate trying to conceive with ovulation. We were both excited (and hopeful) because we finally timed it right. It didn't happen.

It's hard to separate the first 7 months from last month. It feels like we haven't been able to conceive for 8 months, which makes it feel like we never will. However, we are really only 0-for-1 (since we've only had one shot at it due to the fact that conception the first 7 months was impossible due to our bad timing). 0-for-1 is pretty normal. I don't feel like it's time to give up hope, and I think the situation feels worse than it is.

Julia calls me a pessimist, but I'd say I'm a prepared optimist. I hope for the best, and don't give up hope on the best happening until it's certain it won't. However, at the same time, I recognize the fact that things might not turn out the way I want them to, and make peace with that possible outcome. That way I'll be okay if things don't happen the way that I hope they will, but don't accept that worst-case-scenario until I have to. That has served me well in this situation. Every month I hold out hope that we might have conceived, but make peace with the fact that it may not happen as soon as we'd like. I expect that we'll conceive at some point, but accept that it may take a while. If it happens sooner, I'll be thrilled; if it happens later, I'll be prepared. Julia doesn't see things this way. She openly embraces her emotions and feels more intensely than I do (like I said, I'm more guarded), and that's one of the things I love about her. Unfortunately, in a situation like this, I can see how it tears her apart.

I don't know what to say or do to help her through this. I honestly feel that hope isn't lost. I truly believe that it will happen, and actually think we're not even at a panic point yet. I wish we could just erase the first 7 months of our mistimed trying, and start count at last month since it was the first time we actually had a chance. We now know how to time it right. We have the experience and the tools that will allow us to time it right from here on out. Yes, we have some things working against us (it's possible that Julia only ovulates every other cycle, and it's possible that my sperm count is slightly below normal), which makes me feel even more that being 0-for-1 isn't a sign that we'll never make it. It may take time, but we'll get there. Unfortunately patience isn't either one of our strong suits (especially when it's something that we want so badly). I just wish I could help Julia feel impatient instead of hopeless. I'm used to working off logic first, then emotion second (thanks law school), and I think looking at the facts first, logic says we don't have to worry yet. Julia works off emotion first, and emotionally it feels like - after trying and hoping for so long - it's never going to happen.

The worst part is that I have to see Jules going through this while I don't feel so hopeless, and there's nothing I can do about it. I wish I could get her to see things the way I do and not give up hope. At the very least I wish I could trade spots with her and let her feel hopeful and I'd take the disappointment and hopelessness. In some ways, that's harder to deal with than the fact that we haven't been able to conceive (yet) in the first place.

The Sound of Settling

I came to a realization today that I may never be a mom. Or at least, be a mom in the sense of me giving birth to my own child.

The math works out to about this.

The average person has a 20% chance of conceiving on any given cycle.
I only ovulate every other month.

Now we are at 10%.

The SA said 50%.
Now we are at 5%.

5%.


The one thing I've always wanted to be may not be reachable... and I just can't emotionally take it anymore. It's placing a huge strain on me, and it really is tearing me apart.

Friday, November 20, 2009

*We don't talk about that.*

Well, here it is. The infamous SA post.

It never ceases to amaze me how sensitive this topic is. Us girls can talk about not having the right amount of eggs, or whatever… but heaven forbid we talk about the male being a cause of infertility. We place our business out there for everyone to see, and they get to go to a room, do their thing, and leave. Fair? I think not.

So, let’s go forward with the assumption that this is not an embarrassing topic. My husband, being of the rare breed he is, was not embarrassed. I hesitate to go into the details of why his experience was REALLY hilarious, but I did ask permission before posting this at all.

So, the results? His motility is only 50%. “Normal” is 60-100%. There will be a re-test in two weeks to confirm the results.

Is this the end of the world? No.

Does it make me feel a whole bunch better? Yes.

Something about the fact that I am not the sole reason that TTC has been hard for us. A weight of proverbial shame has been lifted guilt has been lifted off my shoulders.

What struck me funny was that when Jon told me, he then said: “Well, I had told myself that if I was at 0%, you could leave the marriage.”

“*Wait what?*” I said.

“Well, it’s the one thing in the world you really want. If I can’t give that too you, but you married me with the understanding that we would have them… I’d have to let you go.” Jon reasoned.

*Once a lawyer, always a lawyer.*


I assured him that even if it was at 0% that would not cause me to even think about leaving the marriage. There are many other options, donors, IUI, IVF… Adoption… Divorce seems like a silly thing. Would that be listed under irreconcilable differences? Reason? : Low Sperm Count.

I’ll be filing later today.

…Obviously.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Crashing Down Again

Well, like clockwork of two cycles ago, Day 39 has proved to be the day of my pregnancy demise.

I'd like to say that I'm not devastated, that I don't really care. I mean shit, it's now been since March since we started trying. Wow, officially 8 months now. Why is this such a hard thing to accomplish, and why do so many who "don't want a kid" get one? Part of me wants to say "fuck it all" and give up trying. Trying itself is a very well, trying, experience. I don't know how many more months I can do this emotional strain that's happening. I am very quickly going crazy and feeling depressed.

But I am. I'm frustrated, I'm angry, I'm upset and I don't really know how to show it. So, here I sit, on a Friday night spending time within my own mind. I'm horrible at expressing my feelings aloud, so I am fighting back tears to try to appear strong. I have so many emotions, and I just can't express them to anyone.

Thankfully, since late high school, I've journaled. I started on paper, and moved to the internet. This is where I discovered my addiction to commas and layouts. This is where I found I'm not alone. People who I never thought I'd be able to talk to are now standing beside me, and I've learned who my true friends are.

I want to thank all of you who are journeying with me. Even when I feel alone, I know people are at least reading my thoughts. Maybe you are going through the same feelings and you can relate... Maybe you aren't and you are just interested.

Whatever it is that you find in this little ole blog, I appreciate you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The 2WW

Time seems to go fast, unless you are watching time like a hawk. I'm now 10DPO, and a few HPT's less. The 2 Week Wait is unusually long for me this month, knowing that we had all the tools to get it right this time.

Do I feel pregnant? Yes... Does this mean anything? Probably not? I am slowly turning into a pessimist, as I am fearful to hope for anything anymore. I'm at 52 points on my "pregnancy signs" chart on Fertility Friend (this is the highest it's ever been.) Does this soothe my worries? No.

Even if I get a positive, who knows if it will stay that way. Being that I have received 2 Positives on cycles before that either have washed away, or have been false. (I believe that the first was a chemical pregnancy, meaning I was pregnant for a short time, and then miscarried.) I do have a small amount of hope. I keep it in a box that I specifically bought for my passports and other papers in case of a fire. It's black, and fireproof, and locked.

Jon is ever hopeful (despite him being a classic pessimist) and it's hard to be excited as he is.

I've already started thinking the "what will we do next cycle?" Do I continue on Clomid, knowing that the longer I take it, the more dangerous it is for a potential fetus, being that it won't be able to latch on to my walls? Do I try some sort of herbal remedy? Do I do nothing?

However, there is this part of me that comes out sometimes. I don't know her well, but she is looking into birthing options, exploring her ideal for having a child... setting up accounts on BabysRUs... looking into "my pregnancy week by week." She spends time on CountDown to Pregnancy. I don't know her well, and I'm very guarded to even acknowledge she exists.

The idea that I might be close to 4 weeks along at this point definately has it's ground in my mind... If I choose to acknowledge that it's there or not.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Freak Out= Good?

Well, this week has been probably the hardest for quite a while (probably since the chemical pregnancy, for me.) Emotionally, I was on a rollercoaster of panic and worry and feelings of failure.

"How easy", I think, "it is to grow a human... why can't my body get it's act together?"

I had an emotional meltdown, which led me to send myself home from work, and fighting tears while playing with kids.

Why is this good? (You may ask?) Well. I hit bottom... or at least the most bottom I could hit for now. I flipped out. I may or may not have started a fight about tape on a light switch at my home with my marvelous husband... to which he argued back, but then bought me "feel better pills" (candy corn) and managed to be the cutest husband ever... yet again.

I'm currently on CD 18, no sign of ovulation yet, and I'm religiously taking OPKs. There is a pale line, a bit more than earlier in the month, so that's a good sign. My temp is still low, and I forsee a few more days low.

One thing that has helped me cool down and mellow out is that next month we will be adjusting our conception plan. We will be relying on OPKs only, and not actively trying until there is a certain sign of impending ovulation. Next month, if the pattern stays true, will be a longer month anyway (and I'm assuming this is from the tube that is blocked, therefore, no ovulation?)

Jon will be getting tested after this cycle, and then I'm actually pondering taking a few months off Clomid/medication to continue on my weight loss journey (I've lost 20 pounds since the beginning of summer) and seek out more "natural" methods of increased fertility and treatment. I'm going to try acupuncture and a few herbal methods as well. Those of you on my BlogList, anyone try any natural methods? Which ones?

I think you all for being on this journey with me. My friends have provided me with such strength and support. In the past week, a beautiful friend has even offered to be a surrogate... if it came to that. How blessed am I.

So, through freaking out, I've suddenly been able to calm myself a lot.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Caught!

Today, I've caught myself several times starting to panic. Jon and I have been trying to start our family for almost 7 months, and I'm starting to panic.

The fear of the unknown, and the fear of the known are rearing their ugly heads, and I am worried. I'm truly trying to settle my thoughts and calm down but I've really had to work hard to take my focus off of these thoughts.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Oh my!

I've been a horrible updater. Please forgive me :)
I'm currently on day 2 of my Days 3-7 Clomid. This is the last round before they reassess where I'm at. They will then move to testing Jon, and higher levels of medication with the possibility of adding Metformin or another type of medication.

In theory, this month would be when I would ovulate from my unblocked ovary. (Assuming the other is blocked, which was a possibility brought to light by my HSG a few months ago.) I still have hopes for this round, and I pray this will be the last time I have to take this medication. Many report mood swing, which I've not really felt, other than a shorter fuse and lack of patience. I have, however, had weird hot flashes. I feel like I'm going through menopause.

It makes me nervous, as a couple of fellow bloggers have been forced to move to the IVF route. I pray I'm not going to have to worry about that level of things. It's still a possibility, and I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gah!

I'm currently on my second cycle of 100mg Clomid. I started at 100mg. Last month, my temps followed a normal pattern, and went up round the estimated time of ovulation (or at least when I should have). I had a 39 day cycle.

I'm now on day 49 of this cycle, and AF still hasn't arrived. I'm not pregnant.

My questions are:

1. How do I know I'm actually ovulating? They did testing the first cycle, including ok levels and rising form the clomid as expected... but did I just not ovulate this month?
2. Should I ask about raising my dose? Would this do anything?
3. I now haven't a clue when to baby dance for next cycle, being that this month will be at least 10 days longer than last month...
4. What would YOU ask if you were me, when I go make an appt with my OB/GYN?

What do I do? I'm incredibly frustrated!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award!


A huge shout out to Samantha who awarded me the "Kreativ Blogger Award!" That Award is also Kreativ-ly spelled! It's a pretty great thing, as I get to nominate my favorite 7 blogs and nominate THEM for the Kreativ Blogger Award! You can find her blog at www.twoheartstogether.com



In order to accept this award, I have to do a few things…ready? Here we go!


Rules:
1.) Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2.) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3.) Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4.) Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5.) Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6.) Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7.) Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Seven things you may not know about me!
1.
I'm deathly afraid of going in carwashes. I love being in them if I am a passenger... but my fear lies with never being able to get my tire in where they want it to go. This fear also somewhat ties to Jiffy Lubes! That darn hole in the floor!
2. My husband almost lost his wedding ring on the bottom of the ocean during our honeymoon. He was swimming and it slipped off. Luckily, he saw the sun glint off it, and dove after it. Little did he know, it was about 30 feet down, and he had a lifevest on. He managed to swim all the way to the bottom, grab a handful of sand... and there it was! The funny thing was that he swam with his hand in a fist the rest of the day to keep it from falling off. :)
3.
I have around 7 bottles of shampoo in my shower. I rotate them, and I'm never quite happy with any of them.
4.
I have an addiction to frozen cokes at Burger King.
5.
I'm Sci-Fi nerd, hardcore.
6.
If I had my way, I'd not get out of a hoodie and pajama pants for the rest of my life.
7.
I have a deep seeded fear of not being able to have children.

Nominations!

I hereby nominate the following for the Kreativ Blogger Award!

1. My Cousin Bee over at Bee Repartee (www.beerepartee.blogspot.com)
Bee ponders life with children, Mr Coffee, and the meaning of her answering machine message. Generally, you never really know what you're going to get, but you are sure to get a smile.
2.
Rose over at Notes on Being the DuctTape Hero (www.emma24383.blogspot.com)
A barista takes a look at life, love, and artistic and obnoxious orderers at her local coffee shop. She also graces my reader with creative songs, poems and random ponderances. Emma Rose also happens to be one of my closest friends, and quite possibly one of the coolest people I know.
3.
My friend Brittneigh over at Lemon Love (www.lemonlove.forgedpixels.com)
Fashion? Insanely cool hats and shades? Generally feel-good stuff up your alley? Lemon Love is the place to be. Watch Brittneigh play with her camera, and show you her amazing calligraphy and artwork. (I'm biased, but she did the calligraphy on my wedding license.)
4.
My friend Maureen over at Our Little Blob (www.ourlittleblob.blogspot.com)
Maureen describes life with her little Blob (who really isn't much of a blob anymore, he's 5 months old!) Watch her journey through new motherhood, the fun details of pumping during her lunch break into ziplocks and pictures of her super adorable little boy. Maureen and I reconnected after many years... she and I were best of friends in middle school!
5.
A mom blog: Do They Have Salsa in China? (www.salsainchina.blogspot.com)
A mom of adopted twin girls from china shares adorable tales of the kids, pictures, and bento boxes.
6.
Playgroups are no Place for Children (www.playgroupsarenoplaceforchildren.com)
A mom describes her tales of being a mother. My favorite was a letter to dora the explorer. She criticized Dora for having a deformed head, yelling and being generally uninteresting... but her post about it made me giggle with glee (and sympathy)
7.
Paper Tastebuds (www.www.papertastebuds.com)
A creative mind shares her creative wedding ideas and her latest projects. She also has a knack for finding very simplistically beautiful things from around the world.

So thank you Sam, and congrats to the winners!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Currently, I'm on day 44 of this cycle. This could be a good thing (as I could be potentially day sixteen DPO) or a bad thing... if my Clomid isn't working.

I thankfully have one more cycle of Clomid, and I think I can convince my doctor to let me go a few more cycles.

I've gotten off track temp taking. Over the past 4 days, I've been battling a fever. I have no idea what my body is up to. If I have a period in the next couple of days, I'll be pretty close to last month, and have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

I'm tired... really. I'm tired of not being able to do something so basic as getting pregnant. It's SO frustrating.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 37

Fertility Friend isn't really speaking my language this month, and it's a bit confused. Theoretically, I would be late now if I ovulated when I thought. Otherwise, I'd be late in 2 days, if it's the same as last month. Still negative though.

The girl in my office is having a boy. (You know, the one who got married the same day as I did?) That's the one. I'm happy, I really am. But, when I heard it, I was sad. (I teared up. What a pansy!)

Still emotional, like I said yesterday. Obviously.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Roller Coaster of Emotions

Today, I'm at work and practically in tears. I'm not sure why, but everything just seems off. Could wild emotions mean pregnancy? Absolutely. Am I getting my hopes up? No. (Read: *Yes*.) It's officially day 36 today, and my cycle last month was 39 days. I'm hopeful still, regardless of a - on a test this morning. (I thought I O'd on a certain day, 4 days earlier, but I may have O'd later, making my cycle 39 days instead.)

I really just want to go home and sleep. I feel crummy.

I find that I'm emotionally and physically exhausted from finishing my big 5K goal over the weekend, and a sad conversation with a friend. I can't help but wonder if my wild emotions are a result from that.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 34

Tomorrow is Day 34. Last cycle was 39 days.
I've tested, and tested. (3 times, shhh, don't tell.) Yet again, I've been pushing for some stock options on "peeonastickinc", as we could fund our future kid (or lack there of)'s college fund.

I don't feel super funky, but I've had a lot of cramping in the past week. Psychosomatic? Maybe, but that could be a sign of implantation.

If this cycle doesn't work, I have one more Clomid Cycle before moving to the next step.

And yet, there is that hope. Secretly, I oogle children's clothing, and try not to get caught staring at people's pregnant bodies. I want to be able to say that I'm pregnant, and I have a secret desire to be able to announce it at the Christmas Dinner this year (3 months in, if we hit it this time around.) Everyone and their mom is pregnant right now, including many friends who I just don't think should be, or want to be (this sounds SO much more judging than I mean it.)

In other news, I'm pursuing an interest of mine in Massage Therapy. I'm investigating various local colleges that can help me get a LMT License. Ironically, one of the colleges are actually right downstairs in my office building. How convenient would that be?

Monday, September 14, 2009

HSG

A common Infertility Test, I found a great resource that explained the procedure thoroughly, and thought you might like to read about it.

Hysterosalpingogram(HSG)
Fertility testing can often be a daunting procedure. Many couples stuggling with fertility issues have to undergo dozens of tests in order to find out what is at the bottom of their infertility. A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a very common fertility test that most women struggling with infertility will undergo. The hysterosalpingogram can help to pinpoint specific fertility problems and may help you to decide on an appropriate treatment.

What is a Hysterosalpingogram?A hysterosalpingogram is a fertility test used to detect uterine and fallopain health. The HSG test uses x-ray technology to create a picture of the uterus and fallopian tubes. When you undergo an HSG test, colored dye is injected into you uterus. This dye then travels up through the fallopian tubes and out into the abdominal cavity. The HSG allows your health care provider to determine if there is any damage to your reproductive system.

What Can a Hysterosalpigogram Detect? Generally, the HSG fertility test is used to detect abnormalities in your uterus or fallopian tubes. The HSG dye will indicate any damage or blockages in your fallopian tubes. The dye will also highlight the shape of your uterus. However, an HSG test can sometimes also indicate:
uterine fibroids
uterine polyps
adhesions or scar tissue
endometriosis

Who Needs a Hysterosalpingogram? An HSG test is offered to women seeking fertility treatment. The HSG test helps to determine overall uterine health and is an excellent way of pinpointing fertility difficulties. Every woman seeking help in becoming pregnant should have an HSG exam.

Hysterosalpingogram and Fertility: Besides being able to detect uterine and tubal abnormalities, the HSG test has also been shown to increase pregnancy rates in some women. The HSG test sometimes helps to clear fallopian tubes of debris or blockages. This can enable some women with fertility issues to become pregnant.

The Hysterosalpingogram Procedure:The HSG procedure is typically performed in the radiology department of you local hospital. It is an outpatient procedure, which means that you will be able to go home immediately following the test. The procedure itself is relatively quick - it only takes about five minutes to actually perform - however, you may be asked to answer some questions before the HSG test begins. The HSG procedure is performed as follows:
You lie on an examination table and bring your knees up to your chest. You allow your knees to fall outwards, towards the table.A speculum is placed in your vagina, in order to expose your cervix.
A thin catheter is inserted through your cervix and into your uterus.
Dye is slowly released through the catheter into your uterine cavity.
X-rays are taken as the dye flows into the fallopian tubes and spills out into the abdominal cavity.
You will be asked to turn on to your side, so that further x-rays can be taken
After the HysterosalpingogramAfter the last x-rays have been taken, you will be asked to remain lying down for a few minutes. You may notice some light abdominal cramping. After a few minutes, you can get dressed. Your test results will likely be available immediately after the procedure.

Complications of a Hysterosalpingogram: As with any diagnostic procedure, there are some complications associated with the HSG test. However, complications are rare, occuring in only 1% of all patients. Possible complications include:
spotting
fainting
uterine infection
iodine dye allergy

The Results: Your health care provider will sit down with you to explain the results of your HSG test. Normal results will show no blockages in your fallopian tubes and and a uterus that is of natural size and shape. Abnormal results could show one or more blockages in your fallopian tubes, uterine adhesions, or an unusual uterine shape.

After the Hysterosalpingogram: If your HSG test results come back normal, this means that there is no detectable problem with your uterus or fallopian tubes. Further testing may be required to determine where your fertility issues stem from.
If your HSG results come back abnormal, this means that there is some sort of problem with your uterus or fallopian tubes. Treatment will depend on the specific problem that your health care provider detects.

Just Chillin'

Well, I'm in the middle of the two week wait, assuming that I ovulated on time. I have 5 more days before testing can commence, and I have to admit I already tested on Friday. As if some pregnancy fairy could come down and say "yes, 5 DPO, I'll just give you a preview." Sadly, this is not the case.

In theory, if I O'ed when I think I did, we'd have a great chance this month.

The idea of what we are trying to do has hit me full force. In the same way that Jon feels "out of control" in the process, I feel a huge burden of "total responsibility." It's hard to think about how every little thing will have a direct impact on a developing child both in and out of the womb. This looming responsibilty is beyond and responsibility I've ever had in my life.

This has brought up several intense conversations regarding what is ok for both of us during this time of TTC and pregnancy. Thankfully, we have a great marraige and are able to work through each problem as it comes. We are both fully committed to this process, and neither one of us has faced having a kid before, so it's a given that we won't know what to do and that there will be bumps in the road.

It's so cliche, but I hold to little gems of cheesy wisdom like "no one is born knowing how to be a perfect parent." I'm thankful for all my experience with kids, and I know that will help me when the child is 3-18 years old. If I can just keep all three of us alive for the baby-3 years part, we'll be alright.

In the mean time, I am doing whatever I can to be busy for the next 5 days. I can expect to test on Friday or Saturday. I've also signed up for my first 5K, the Race for the Cure, here in Portland, and I'm really excited. I've not been as fit as I am right now since Elementary School. I caught myself having "bummer" thoughts when I just ran one mile this morning, then walked a quarter of a mile, then another mile. I had a reality check, and thought about how 5 weeks ago I couldn't run even one mile... so I'm cruising!

I hope all is well with all of you. Thank you for stopping by. In the past month I've had over 1200 hits to this Blog! If you follow me regularly, please click on the "Follow Me" link to the left of the page. It gives me a happy feeling to know that people are following my blog!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oh Body, You Certainly Cannot Make Up Your Mind

Well, I thought I was past my O date, but my temp this morning was a bit confusing.
Let's talk a bit about temperatures and what they mean.

Every morning, before you get out of bed, you throw a thermometer in your mouth to check your temp. If you get up beforehand, it is invalid, as activity adjusts your resting temp. You will need a Basal Thermometer, which you can find at your local drug store. You cannot use a normal mercury one, you must have a basal. This is because the Basal can temp much closer to actual temp, and to the tenth of a degree.

So, when you have your period, your temp remains pretty consistant. For me, it's around 97.7ish. Right before your ovulation date, many people's temperatures take a bit of a dip. In my case, around 2 tenths of a degree. Some people don't have the temp dip before the Ovulation Date (O-Day.) When you ovulate, you will see a significant temperature jump. For me, last month, my temp jump was almost a full degree (8 tenths). Once you notice a temperature jump around the expected O-Day, you have already Ovulated. This means, that no matter what you do, you cannot change whether you will get pregnant this month. You will know that your high temp has signified O-Day if your temp stays around the same high for at least 3 days. (I stayed up there for about 2 weeks.) It will go back down again right before or on the first day of your period.

I've been told that when you are successful, and pregnant, you will see another level of high temps above the O-Day high temps around week 2. This has been tied to implantation of the egg into the wall of the womb. I'd suggest charting your temps for several months before TTC. This is a great way to see what is normal for you.

This month, what I thought was a spike, then dipped down again, and it isn't high. So, I may not have O-ed yet.

I hope that was informative! Feel free to post comments or questions!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Update

Well, I noticed that I hadn't posted in a while, so I thought I'd make a bit of an update. I finished my 2nd round of clomid a couple of weeks ago (maybe a week and a half?) and I am faithfully using OPK's to try to anticipate the big O.

Interestingly, I never seem to have enough hormones to bump the OPK's to a significant solid line. I do have faint lines and some are a bit more prominently faint? And yet, I continue to try to use them, and we'll see. My temp has drastically dropped this morning about a full degree over the past 2 days down to 96.59. Jon says it looks like the latest stock market trend. I'm hoping this is a pre-o temp drop, which could place the O today or tomorrow. According to last month's chart, tomorrow would be right on schedule, if I dare to hope that I actually have a schedule to depend on. Regardless, we will do our best to hit the timing.

I'm not going to lie, trying to get pregnant definitely has it's down sides. Pre-planning encounters isn't really awesome, especially when they weren't really fun anyway. (On my end, due to my history.) I'm actually starting to hope for pregnancy for a whole other reason, the idea that we can stop all these night time shenanigans altogether. Oh well.

I hesitate to hope, but this month is definitely the one where we were armed with the information to do it right. After this month though, I may have Jon go in to be tested to make sure it isn't him.

Meanwhile, school is starting, and work is busy as ever. It's good, because it keeps my mind off "all things baby" while I'm here. Unless I'm fielding inappropriate conversations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Awkward Moment At Work

This morning I was at the copier and a girl, let's call her Laura, came up to me. Here's how the conversation went. (BTW, she's like 40 to 50 years old, as a reference.)

Laura: "So, are you the one who is going to a special doctor to try to get pregnant?"
Me: *pauses for what seems like quite a few seconds to just shake this 'why the hell is she asking me this, and why is it any of her business?'* "Uh, yeah... who told you that?"
Laura: "Oh, I dunno who told me, I just heard... So.. are you?"
Me: "Am I..."*pause* "What?"
Laura: *Matter of Factly* "Pregnant."
Me: I might be, I might not be... I don't know.
Laura: *Incredulously* "you don't KNOW?"
Me: "Of course I know. It's just something that I may or may not share with everyone." *Strong Inflection towards frustration at her nosiness.* "It's personal."
Laura: *Obviously offended and appalled that 'I' wouldn't tell her anything* "Well.... good luck with all those endeavours then."
Me: "Yeah, thanks."


See, it's one thing if she had read my blog, where I am very open about this whole thing, but she heard it from someone at work, I guarantee it. Gah, I'm so annoyed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Almost Done!

Tuesday marks the last day of Clomid for Round #2 (and hopefully, the last time!)

I'm curious that Clomid really hasn't affected me. Many people say that they experience rapid mood swings, etc... but so far, it's been great. if anything (Jon even says) I might be happier and more grounded than ever.

Up next? Well, a OPK wait. I've received the pack of 20 OPK's from online... these are MUCH cheaper, and many people seem to use them and see good results. Much nicer than having sticks around.

I've made a decision, at least for now, that until we are done having kids completely, I'm not taking birth control anymore. It really messed with my system, and it took nearly 8 months to fix it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Interesting

I re-read my Clomid information post, and found this little gem:
8. What about multiple births as a result from Clomid? Clomid is a low-level fertility drug. The chances of a multiple birth (twins) increases 40 times while taking Clomid.

Jon is freaked out by the idea of having twins. I actually prefer it, as I could just do the whole child-birth thing once and be done with it. Also, I think that it would be easier with sharing the clothing resources, etc. Jon thinks it would be nuts. I understand where he is coming from, the whole "two babies = two times the amount of work", but still.

Who's with me? Am I crazy?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Today I went to get my next dose of Clomid. I'm trying really hard not to hold my hopes up too high, but I have this feeling that this month will be the month! Jon is really good about trying to keep me from getting too hopeful, so now I'm just not teling him. But, I really do have a feeling!

I start Clomid again on Friday of this week for 5 days, then start ovulation testing. I got some OPK strips for cheap online, and will end up saving me about 30 dollars, as I'm getting 20 for $18.00, instead of 7 for $30.00!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

And Yet. There is Hope.


For the first time since being off birth control. I had a normal cycle. I ovulated, and I had a 38 day cycle.

I know that it's not a clear picture, but the cross hairs say when I ovulated, and it's right on track. 10 days after the end of Clomid. We missed our window by 2 days, but next time, we won't.

This gives me such hope, and peace that I can be a mother. It might take a couple of cycles, but, my body can do it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Failure Again

Now, Before I start this blog post... I'd like to remind everyone, that I'm not saying that 9 months of trying for a child can compare to people who have tried for years. Lately, I've found a crew of hopeful mom's telling people that they have "no idea what it's like to try for YEARS." You're right. I don't.

Does this diminish my experience? No. So, with that understood, on I go..

Blood test came back negative. I suppose I didn't expect the emotional impact of this negative. I had high hopes for this cycle because of the additional drug support. I thought I had prepared myself by reading that it often takes a few cycles... and even scared myself a bit straight by reading blogs of women who HAVE been trying for years. Yet, getting the email that my blood test came back negative was like a slap in the face.

The full force didn't hit me until this morning, about 12 hours later. I feel off center. I feel like a failure. Reasonably, I'm aware that it's not my fault (in the willing fault sense) but I feel as though something as simple as conceiving, something people have done for millions of years is somehow beyond us. However, here we go again.

If someone asks me about whether we are planning to start a family, or "just relax" or "lose weight" again... I might punch them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I need Encouragement.

I just really need some positive thoughts and words right now. My Clomid cycle failed, and my blood test came back negative. I'm on day 37, and I'm worried that I just won't get my period, or whatever. I'm just anxious and having a hard time with it all. What if the one thing I want to be, a mom, isn't possible? All these years trying to avoid pregnancy, and now, when I actually want to have a child, I can't?

Blood Test

Now that it is day 37, and possibly more than 3 weeks past when I think I ovulated, I'm going to go in for a blood test today. I still am getting BFN on my HPTS, but I dunno. I'm defintely feeling a bit off, and I've been absolutely exhausted for the past week. I'm not sleeping well, my temperature is still high, and there are other things that point to the possibility that I'm pregnant. Of course, I want this SO much, that things could be happening because I want them too.

So, here's hoping. I'm not sure when I can expect to get my results, but I'm going to try to rush them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Clomid Information

Frequently Asked Questions about Clomid
1. What is Clomid?
Clomid is a fertility drug. Its chemical name is Clomiphene Citrate, and Clomid is sometimes also referred to as Serophene. These are all the same drug. It is used to treat women who have an ovulation problem by stimulating the ovaries to mature an egg.
2. What does Clomid do?
Clomid works by suppressing the amount of naturally circulating estrogen and "tricks" the pituitary into producing more follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing hormone (LH). These natural gonadotropic hormones (FSH and LH) then stimulate the ovaries to ripen a follicle and to extrude an ovum (egg).

3. When do I take Clomid?
Your physician will instruct you to take Clomid on either days 3-7 or 5-9 of your cycle, and it is usually based upon the Dr's preference and/or experience. Please follow your physician's directions carefully.

4. How much should I take?
The initial recommended dosage is 50 mg but it may be increased to 100 mg (or more) until the desired response is achieved. It is important to chart while taking clomid and some doctors will recommend using Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs) as well.

5. When will I ovulate?
It may take time to establish an appropriate and effective dosage for each person. Once that is established, you should expect to ovulate 5-8 days after the last pill is taken. If you do not conceive in that cycle, AF will usually arrive three weeks after the last pill.

6. When should I DTD (have intercourse)?
You should DTD at least every other day, beginning the third day after your last pill is taken and continuing for one week, or until a thermal shift indicates you've ovulated.

7. Are there any side effects from Clomid?
Clomid can interfere with the ability of the cervical mucus glands to be stimulated by estrogen to produce fertile mucus. Only "hostile" or dry cervical mucus may develop in the days preceding ovulation. Robitussin may help to improve the cervical mucus.

The most common side effects are hot flashes due to the body's hormone levels and a mild headache. The headache usually disappears once the last pill is taken, and the hot flashes once ovulation has occurred. Visual symptoms such as spots, flashes or blurry vision are less common and indicate that treatment should stop.

8. What about multiple births as a result from Clomid?
Clomid is a low-level fertility drug. The chances of a multiple birth (twins) increases 40 times while taking Clomid.

9. What about ovarian cysts? I've heard Clomid can cause them.
Yes, you can get an ovarian cyst while using Clomid. An ovarian cyst will dissipate on its own, though. It is, however, necessary for your ovaries to be checked for cysts before any additional dosages of Clomid are administered. Clomid could cause an enlargement in an ovarian cyst.

10. Is Clomid associated with any congenital birth defects?
The % of congenital birth defects in children conceived with the assistance of Clomid is no different than the % of congenital malformations in the general population.

11. How long will it take for me to get pregnant using Clomid?
More than half the women taking Clomid will get pregnant during the first three cycles and more than 3/4 occur at the 50mg. dose. Most doctors will only prescribe Clomid for six (6) cycles. After that time, other measures may be recommended, such as IUI or IVF.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Prognosis Negative!

Well, I took an HPT this morning, and it was a negative. However, this is really early in the game, and I wont' really take any of them seriously until around Wednesday or Thursday.

I'm going back to work tomorrow from a long week on vacation. I'm hoping not to stress out too much, and also to continue with the Couch To 5K. I'm on week 4, day 3 on my next run. Next week is a 2 mile run. To think that a bit more than a month ago, I was unable to run for 60 seconds. What a great ride!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Test Results!

I got an official re-cap of my pre-post Clomid Blood Tests! I'm going to spend some time researching what each of these means, but if you have experience to share about them, please do!

Pre Clomid Tests
LH: 3.45
FSH: 4.78
Estraiol: 27

Post Clomid Tests
LH: 9.12
FSH: 4.42
Estraiol: 170


FSH level is fine. Around a Nine or below is considered normal. This is the hormone that stimulates ovulation.

LH: Increased levels of LH can be indicators of ovary failure.

Estraiol: Pre Clomid levels should be between 25-75. Post should be above 100 or 2x the Pre Clomid Levels. Again, looks good!


So, what DOES this mean? Well, right now.. not much, other than there really isn't anything wrong that they can see right now! YAY! Does anyone have anything to add about their experiences?

Love!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thank you!

I spent some time this week really researching other blogs of people going through the same step towards TTC. Thank you for everyone who has stopped by. It's very encouraging to have people officially follow my blog, so if you are stopping by, and you find even something small that interests you, check me out for a bit, and follow me officially.

So thank you, everyone, for being out there for me to find and learn from.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oregon Medical Board Response

Response to the Post found Here


Dear Julia,

The Oregon Medical Board has received your complaint regarding Dr Jean-Baptiste on July 22, 2009. In order for the Board to proceed with a formal investigation, a medico-legal basis must exist to support the belief that Dr Jean-Baptiste may have violated Oregon law. Following the review by the Board's Investigations Department, an insufficient basis was found to warrant further investigation of your complaint.

By saying this, I am not implying that your contact with Dr. Jean-Baptiste and the staff at the Columbia Women's Clinic was perfect. Problems do arise at times in areas of care, but a single incident such as you described does not constitute a violation of Oregon Law. However, if you have additional compelling evidence or documentation from another physician or health care professional that the care and treatment provided by Dr. Jean Baptiste was substandard, the Board would be willing to review this.

Although the Board will not be initiating a formal investigation, I wish to let you know that this should not be interpreted by you as the Board minimizing or downplaying the concerns which you described in your letter. The information which you provided helps the Board in tracking trends in complaints about physicians, which can eventually aid the Board in intervening with physicians who may exhibit a history of problematic behavior.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to the attention of the Oregon Medical Board.

Sincerely,
Randy H Day
Complaint Resource Officer
Investigations/Compliance Unit

OPK Re-Cap for July

OK, so I've reached the end of this batch of OPK's. Now, imagine that this is what you are examining daily, thus have a biased opinion of what is lighter and darker. What do you think?



Here is the whole week against each other.


I think the darkest still is 7/25.










<------- this one <----- today For Comparison, here is Day 1, 4, and 7 (Click the picture to make it bigger)


<--- Day 1 <--- Day 4 <--- Day 7






Day 1 (the lightest day for sure)
Day 4 (When I Think my official O day is)
Day 7 (today, which I think is lighter than day 4)
(Click the picture to make it bigger, I think it makes it pretty obvious)

Monday, July 27, 2009

FSH

So, the blood tests came back with some encouraging news... I think.

My FSH levels (which encourage ovulation) came back as a 4.1/4.7. As I'm researching what that means, I've found that a high FSH level (15 or higher) is a barrier to possible conception. My levels are within the healthy range, and my dr is encouraged by that.

See here:
Day 3 FSH level Interpretation for DPC Immulite assay
Less than 9 Normal FSH level. Expect a good response to ovarian stimulation.
9 - 11 Fair. Response is between normal and somewhat reduced (response varies widely). Overall, a slightly reduced live birth rate.
11- 15 Reduced ovarian reserve. Expect a reduced response to stimulation and some reduction in embryo quality with IVF. Reduced live birth rates on the average.
15 - 20 Expect a more marked reduction in response to stimulation and usually a further reduction in embryo quality. Low live birth rates. Antral follicle count is an important variable.
Over 20 This is pretty much a "no go" level in our center. Very poor (or no) response to stimulation. "No go" levels should be individualized for the particular lab assay and IVF center.

This is very encouraging. The Dr also noted to me that I do have an egg reserve, which is also good news! The HSG procedure obviously wasn't a total success, as they were only able to see one ovary's path through my tubes.. but one ovary is enough to conceive. She was saying too, if I ovulate only once every other month, it might take a bit longer to conceive. We are going to try Clomid again next cycle if I get a period (aka, don't get pregnant) at the end of this cycle.

So, all I can do now really is wait... and I hate waiting.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

OPK

Here's the latest series of OPK's. The last one is from this morning. I'm excited, because the line is definately getting darker! I think this might be one test away from a Bingo!

Friday, July 24, 2009

OPK

Ovulation Predictor Kits are now at the point of being remotely useful. After finishing Clomid, I was advised to not use them for a couple of days because the drug might affect the reading. I started to read them on Tuesday the 14th. I've also learned to keep them, regardless of the reading so I can compare them with other days to see if a faint line might be less faint than other faint lines... if this makes sense.

So, moving on. I've done three tests... One Tuesday, 7/22, this morning 7/24 and this evening.
Here's the pictures of them:
So, as you can see with a bad picture that I just couldn't make better... 7/22 is a WAY faint line, then both 7/24's are much more solid. I'm going to keep testing once a day to see if there is any change... but to me, I think that 7/24 or last night might have been when it happened! TMI, maybe, but 7/22 and tonight are scheduled TTC nights. I'm hoping that we can hit it this time!

I will be photographing and saving each series, so I can start to track what my body says when it's ovulating.

In other news, I spent the afternoon yesterday talking with Quality Control from Providence about my experience I had with the OB/GYN there. I felt great about the conversation, I was heard, and I didn't sound like a bitch... but I definitely got my needs and concerns out in a cohesive manner. Phone calls are not my forte, so I'm happy about how it went.

I'm quite happy with the new OB/GYN that I have at SWFP and I'm hoping to ask more questions of her as I actually get closer to being pregnant, about hospital privileges and such.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Medical Re-Cap

Basically, yesterday was one of the most painful things I've done. The procedure was a success though, as I got to see that there is a clear path to one of my ovaries at least. This is great news, because, really, one ovary is all I would need to conceive.

I spent today at home recovering, as my insides were screaming. As of right now, things are ok, except for walking around. I'm glad I took today off to recover though.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cycle 4, day 9

Tomorrow is my ultrasound procedure. Basically, they are injecting dye into my reproductive system then make sure that "all the pipes work." I've tried to convince Jon to go in my place, and he gave me some lame excuse like "I have no ovaries" or "But I can't get pregnant."

I'm not buying it. I think he's a wuss.

Joking aside, I'm not super excited about this whole thing, but I'm hoping that this month is the charm. I've been on Clomid for 5 days now, and I just took my last dose tonight. People had warned that it had big mood side effects, but I haven't noticed anything. I suppose you'd have to ask Jon.

Tomorrow night I am getting my blood drawn to measure the affect of the Clomid on my blood, and to get the official go-ahead to start trying for this cycle.

I'm going to be asking about when I can start pregnancy testing. I think that the end of the trip to Canada will be when the calendar says I can test.

A large Update post

I've been slack in crossposting to here from my personal blog. But, there is a lot to tell, so here it is... the past week or so. (In order of least recent to most recent;)


July 15: Failed OB/GYN Appt
Okay, I've had a chance to breathe. So here we go.
For reasons that are apparent to most, my first OB/GYN appt was less than exciting to go to. thankfully, the person who was my nurse asked great questions, and thankfully was also very understanding. I wish I could say the same about my dr. I knew what I came in there to get, a medication to help me ovulate, but I felt like I couldn't just go directly there. So, I answered her stupid non-relevant questions, and then she wanted me to wait 60 more days until she would prescribe the clomid, because she just "felt like it." Her reasoning was because it was day 4 after my last period, but through my research, and friends who are going through the same thing, I can start clomid up to day 7 of my period. She wasn't understanding, she didn't tell me what she was doing during the exam, and never really seemed to care about my symptoms or my questions.
I'm currently out of the furious stage, and tomorrow I am planning on calling the minute they open and requesting (and by requesting, I mean telling them they will prescribe, in so many words) that I get the medication I need. if I need to go in and see someone else tomorrow, I will drop everything and go. Time is an issue, and I'm not waiting 60-80 days to get what I know I need to get to regulate my cycles. I'm really feeling empowered. I spent some time talking with Kristy who is also TTC, and is on Clomid, so I feel very confident in what I am requesting. Thankfully, her dr is in the same office, so if I am denied by my current (though no longer my) doctor I will be moving to him, regardless that he is a boy.
I'm relating very much to the "pack leader" mentality, as I am feeling like such a bear right now. needless to say, my appt did not go well, and phone calls will be made and "not leaving the dr office until i see someone else"ness will be happening tomorrow.

July 16; New OB/GYN
Yup, that's right. I met with another Dr today, and finally got the clomid I needed! I took my first dose tonight. The dr was really sweet and really talked to me about my concerns.
I had my blood drawn today, and will again on Tuesday (last day of my Clomid for this cycle). I also am going into have a ultrasound where they inject dye (EW!) into my reproductive system to make sure all my "pipes" go where they should blah blah blah. I'm not looking forward to that, not really sure where they actually inject you.. cough cough. there? or through my stomach? I haven't a clue.
I'm thrilled with today. I still haven't heard from the 1st dr office nurse manager, and I spent part of the afternoon filling out an official medical complaint against the OB from yesterday.
So, theory has it that I could do a pregnancy test BEFORE the trip to Canada, and still be able to one up my 80 year old newly wed aunt! ;)

July 18; Ultrasound
I'm nervous about this ultrasound procedure.
There is a varied amount of pain associated, anywhere from IV drugs to nothing at all.
I'm nervous that the next step of my life, having a child, may never be achieved.

July 19; OPK
Today I bought an ovulation predictor kit. Thankfully, and hopefully, this month will be the first out of the past 7 where I can actually use one of these to help me plan. My last day on clomid is tomorrow night, then I have the ultrasound (of doom) and a blood draw in the evening. I'm going to most likely start using the OPK on Monday. (ETA; I can't start Ovulation Prediction until Thursday.)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updates- Day 70- Cycle 3

Well, I finally got an appt. with an OB/GYN. I'm looking forward to moving forward with the whole TTC process. After some close research, my symptoms line very closely with PCOS (Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome) which affects quite a few women. It includes an irregular cycle, weight gain, feeling odd, and depression. All of these things I've been going through for the past up to two years.

I'm also considering Acupuncture, as it seems closely related to success stories in this area. We shall see, but I'm not going to depend solely on this. Hopefully between some fertility drugs, starting the Couch to 5k again, and acupuncture, my body will be kicked into some sort of normalcy.

Yes, I realize it's not been THAT long that we've been trying, but already my mind is being sent into a bit of a panic. My mother tried for years to have me, and I just don't know if my heart could take that long of a journey with the ups and downs that have happened in the past couple of months alone. What if I can't have a child? This is something I've dreamed of for as long as I could think about it. I'm sure I'm over-reacting but my mother, trying to be helpful, always is reminding me that this sounds just like what she went through. I hate it when she says that, because I can't bear trying for years upon years.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Update- Day 69- Cycle 3

Tragically, the human side of Julia has reared it's ugly head. I found out my counterpart at the office, who was married the same day as I, is now 7 weeks pregnant.

Jealous and a bit annoyed, yes. Happy for her? Not yet. I've been unable to acknowledge her as of yet with the obligatory "congrats about the baby" stuff. I don't want to say it until I mean it. Am I a horrible person? I feel like a bit of one right now.

In other news, I definately feel odd, hot then cold, shaky and a bit dizzy. My blood test said no baby, but who knows at this point? I think I might check that out tonight with another HPT to see if something has changed.

Otherwise, I'm now on day 69 of this cycle. I'm going to see a OB/GYN (YUCK!) in a couple of weeks to see if I might have PCOS (Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome). The weight gain and feeling icky could be connected with that, and that could explain the long cycles that are erratic. There's virtually no chance of concieving with the length and erratic cycles. I need some help.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mixed Feelings- Day 57- Cycle 3

So. As you can read below, the last positive test was actually a negative according to the blood test done at OHSU.

I'm a bit annoyed as my body has just decided to go postal and do it's own thing. Last cycle was 45 days, and this cycle is still going strong at 56 days today. I emailed my dr to see if there is anything I can take to regulate a bit. A fellow blogger suggested to try the ovuwatch, which apparently can nail when you ovulate better. (Because timing at this point would be pointless.) However, It's very expensive, and I can't justify spending that much at this point. If it gets to a year of trying, and nothing, maybe I will.

I think the thing that bothers me is that now I have no faith in Pregnancy tests. Between today and a couple of weeks ago, I've gotten two positives, and here I sit not pregnant.

Oh, in other news. I've been looking into weight gain and the Nuva Ring, and they are VERY connected. Hundreds of people in one forum alone have reported weight gain (and a large # of pounds) on the ring. I'm hoping that being off it will help. However, I noticed weight gain very quickly after starting the Ring. So far, nothing has come off, but maybe in time it will come off? Sigh. I'd like to be as healthy as possible before getting pregnant.
Maybe it's time to try the Couch to 5K Again. I want to be a runner, but my body hates it. I'll try again though and see if I can do it. I think if I can make it through week 2, I could do it! If I could do a 5K, I'd be really proud of myself!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The roller coaster grinds to a halt

Looks like a no-go this round, as the blood tests came back negative today. It sucks. I guess it's time to shift our hopes/expectations to the next round. Here's hoping that the third time is a charm...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dr. Appt- Day 55, Cycle 3

Well, after the weekend's events, I've made an appt with the dr. I will be getting a blood test to confirm or disprove that I am pregnant. Either way, something has to give. I'm either going to get some drugs to kick roundhouse kick cycle into some sort of normalcy, or I'm popping out a kid in 9 months. No in between. I can't do this 'yes' on minute 'no' another thing any longer. Thankfully, this time was much less traumatic than the time before. I wished I hadn't had that time before at all, but it made the disappointment much easier to bear.

I could see how lately I've been "feeling pregnant" but who knows.. Might be psychosematic.

If I'm pregnant right now, I'm 5 weeks along and due in the beginning of February (Feb 10, 2010.) Jon found out that if I am preggers, right now is when the little blob gets a heart beat. According to Dr Spock (Not the vulcan) "eyes are starting to form, a mouth-like opening appears near the "head"; finger and toes are beginning to form. The brain now has three recognizable divisions, as it does in the fully-developed baby and adult."

It's an odd feeling, much like being taken over by aliens, (which obviously i know a lot about) having a creature inside of me. Man, the first time I feel it kick or move is going to be a weird sensation.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The roller coaster continues...

After what we thought was a pretty definite answer yesterday (the digital 'yes'), we wanted to take a second test this morning just to confirm that it was actually a 'yes' (considering what happened last time). Since the test we took yesterday was a digital test, we both figured it was a pretty reliable 'yes' - it's hard to misinterpret a word, especially when you compare it to the faint line we both relied on last time. (And yes, we're both aware that last time may have just been us reading into it to get the answer we wanted).

So this morning rolls around, and Jules takes her second test. We thought that it would be a routine, predictable confirmation of yesterday's result. Unfortunately, when Jules took the test this morning (same digital brand with a simple 'yes' or 'no' result), it came back 'no.'

I have now picked up a new brand of digital tests, and we're planning on testing again (maybe later today, maybe tomorrow) to try and figure out just what the hell is going on. I wonder if it's harder to get a false positive or a false negative?

I'm trying not to get too bummed, and also trying to tamp down any excitement from the positive test (again). Hopefully we'll get another 'yes' on the next test(s), and the 'no' we got this morning will have just been an anomaly. Let the roller coaster continue...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Roller Coaster of Baby! Day 53- Cycle 3

Two weeks ago, on a pregnancy test, I saw this:




So, I waited until Jon got home and I had made him a cute set of playing cards listed with 52 reasons I loved him.




It looked like this:


In it were a whole bunch of reasons why I think he is the cutest, most lovable guy I know.

He has requested that the contents remain between him and I. But, take my word for it, it was offensively cute.



The last page said "how excited you will be when you find out you are going to be a dad." This was his face:


"What??"






















Sadly, later on, when I took another pregnancy test, it was negative. I chalk it up to a horrible thing called an "evap line" or a line that appears a bit beyond the readability window. It makes it look like you have two lines, but you really don't. As you can imagine, I was crushed, and spent most of the weekend almost feeling like I had lost a kid. It was awful. Jon felt the same, and we just had a really rough weekend.

I kept testing, because there was still a possibility that I would be pregnant in the future weeks, due to the timing of conception attempts.

Today, June 13, 2009, I took another test. This time it was digital, as I wanted a very clear answer to the question: "Am I pregnant?"

Here's it's response:

!!!!!












Now, we are both cautiously optimistic! (I'm pretty dang sure, because there isn't really any room for interpretation.) If this is for real, our due date is on February 10, 2010!!!

Now, I have much to do, including figuring out an OB/GYN and setting my first pre-natal appointment. I have also decided that I'm skipping the whole birth part. I think that isn't for me. I'm looking into transportation for the method of moving the baby from the uterus to the real world. I watched this idea on the documentary movie "Star Trek." (So it must be available everywhere now!)

Stay tuned for a post from the glowing father to be. (Father's day is just around the corner!)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Figure it out already!

I wish my body could figure out whether it is pregnant or not. I'm 5 days late, supposedly, and I've gotten like 80 negative pregnancy tests. I'm now pondering investing money in stocks in the pee on a stick industry, as I'm going to support it just on my own by the time all is said and done. I, one person, will single handedly save the country from it's economic crisis. I can see it now, the potential conspiracies surrounding ways to keep me guessing, in order to get my investment in their sticks.


It's funny, cause I could potentially have pregnancy symptoms, but it might all be in my head. Wishful thinking most likely, but dang it body, get with the program! Don't toy with me. Gah!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Deal

I'll take care of the vomit, Julia can take care of the poop. Julia can take care of the bloody wounds/broken bones, I'll take care of the scratches, scrapes, and pee. Fair is fair. That way I take care of something more major that happens less often (vomit), and something less major that happens more often (scratches, scrapes, and pee). This deal also means that Julia takes care of something more major that happens less often (bloody wounds/broken bones), and something less major that happens more often (poop). Marriage is all about compromise...

-Jon

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Post 2.5

BTW, I thought I'd share the deal I worked out. I don't have to deal with vomit. Ever. That's the way it will be. If I had MY way, I'd never deal with my own vomit. Ever.

Jon seems to think that this deal includes me having to deal with every other bodily fluid... but I think there shoul be a far exchange... He does vomit, I'll do blood.

I think this is fair.

Post 2.0

Perhaps I shouldn't be disappointed. I'm sure there are so many people who try for a month to get preggers and just don't. Like Jon said below, I think my mind has transitioned from someone who wants to just work hard and come home to my husband and lounge to someone who wants to be a mom more than anything else.

Good gracious, I'm sure when the blob is finally a teen who just is going nuts, I'll look back and think how easy it was to just have myself and Jon. Let's hope right?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blog Entry 1.5

I'm not quite sure what my approach is going to be on here... I think it's going to be a repository of thoughts more than anything, which will probably work better than trying to carry any theme or direction through this. I'm also aware that I'm not quite sure who's going to be reading this, which is another reason to use it as, more than anything else, a reflection of where I'm at as we go through this whole process. This may pose an interesting problem content-wise (or, more specifically, language-wise), but I suppose that we're all adults here, so people can choose what to read and not to read (maybe I'll even throw up some advisories at the top of my posts if there are certain language or content issues that people may not want to see, although I can really only foresee language issues, as I'm not sure where I'd go with the content that'd be so out there, but who knows).

So here it goes... some pro's and con's running through my mind considering that it looks like we're 0 for 1 since we've "pulled the goalie" and this first round of trying draws to a close. The pro's include more time to build a financial cushion, more time before our future kid gets too big for our condo and we're forced to upgrade to a house (although we'd like to upgrade to a house sooner rather than later, but on our own terms, rather than being forced), and avoiding the issue of having a kid's birthday close to Christmas (no "happy birthday/merry christmas" combination, leaving the kid forced to consolidate two of the best kid holidays into one event). The con is having to wait longer for a kid now that we're ready and have both settled into the idea. The con, without a doubt, outweighs any pro's I can think of - especially now that the birthday/christmas problem shouldn't be an issue (which, oddly enough, was really kind of concerning me).

[language advisory]

On a separate note, I wanted to name the blog "our future mother-fucking, rolley-polley, chubby-cheecked shit-machine*"... I guess the name we settled on is more concise, but less poetic.

*There's an example of possible language issues as well... let's see how long it takes before the wife makes me take that down :-)

-Jon